PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The McKee administration has hired a former senior adviser to Gov. Gina Raimondo who resigned in 2020 after police said he tried leveraging his high-ranking position when they pulled him over for suspected drunk driving.
Target 12 has confirmed the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services hired Daniel Connors as human services deputy director on March 26. He will make $157,931 per year, a spokesperson said.
“We believe that Mr. Connors has since accepted responsibility, dealt with the consequences and worked to get himself to a better place,” said Olivia DaRocha, a spokesperson for McKee.
Connors represented McKee’s hometown of Cumberland in the Rhode Island Senate from 1996 to 2010, rising to the rank of majority leader. He declined to seek re-election. His old seat is currently held by Ryan Pearson, who is now the majority leader, too.
Connors later worked as Raimondo’s senior adviser for about eight months until Narragansett police arrested him on July 8, 2020, after he was spotted driving in and out of an emergency breakdown lane. He quickly resigned from the governor’s office.
Police said at the time Connors’ breath smelled like alcohol and he had a cooler in the passenger’s seat with beer. He subsequently told the arresting officer, “What can we do to make this go away? I work in the governor’s office,” according to a police report.
Police arrested Connors after he refused a Breathalyzer test. Court records show he was found guilty of refusing to submit to a chemical test and police decided not to prosecute two other charges, including lane violations and use of an emergency breakdown lane for travel.
Two days after his arrest, Connors was sentenced to attend an alcohol education program, perform 10 hours of community service, and lose his license for 30 days.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Connor’s new job title. It has been updated.
Eli Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.
Ted Nesi contributed to this report.